Sunday, November 08, 2015

Collect for the twenty-third Sunday after Trinity

Latin Collect
DEUS, nostrum refugium et virtus, adesto piis ecclesiæ tuæ precibus, auctor ipse pietatis, et præsta, ut quod fideliter petimus, efficaciter consequamur. Per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.

[My translation: God, our refuge and strength, be present to the pious prayers of Thy Church, O Author of piety itself, and grant that what we seek faithfully we may obtain effectively. Through...]

Prayer book of 1549
GOD, our refuge and strength, which art the author of all godlines, be ready to heare the devoute prayers of thy churche; and graunt that those thynges which we aske faithfully we maye obteine effectually; through Jesu Christe our lorde. Amen.

God is Love, as St John tells us. This means that what is truly meant by Love is God. To seek the presence of God for the sake of God is what it means to love God. Likewise, to be pious is to seek truly the cause of piety, i.e. to strive to hear the word that God speaks in the heart of men. The way we are to live is defined in the very being of God. Just as God is separate from His Creation, we are to seek that which is beyond what is created.

This is impossible for us as our fleeting little lives flare up so briefly in the span of the ages, like a match lit in the darkness. With God, however, all things are possible. He is our refuge and strength in our struggle to embrace being created and to embrace that which is not created. Creation separated from God is doomed to pass away and those who would try to drag us away from the Divine are many in number. We Christians do have enemies: we must not forget that! Those enemies prowl around us, infiltrating us at the most intimate levels because of our frailty and weakness. We are deceived into hating people who possess exactly the same frail nature as we do.

In God's love do we find refuge from this hatred, because there can be no hatred in God. All hatred necessarily separates from God because it seeks that which is not God. This is why we are in danger of being torn to pieces. Yet we have the spirit of God dwelling in us by our baptism and so we can never be torn apart unless we let go of Him. When we shall stand before God face-to-face, battered and torn from our battle against His enemies, we shall then receive true completeness just by being with Him.

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